Anabaptist International Ministries (AIM) promotes spiritual growth by teaching and modeling life in Christian community. Our vision is to model Anabaptist and Mennonite beliefs to the Polish people. We want to encourage and support believers in a deepening understanding of what it means to live in faithfulness to the Gospel and to help them realize the blessings that come through the establishment of a Christian community and brotherhood.
Since 2001, AIM has endeavored to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and to strengthen churches in Poland. AIM’s work is based in Mińsk Mazowiecki, Poland, where the team is engaged in teaching English, offering Sunday service and Bible studies, building personal contacts, organizing Bible conferences and singing tours, and translating and publishing Christian literature. The work of AIM is supported by various conservative Anabaptist congregations and is governed by a Board of Directors under the auspices of Shalom Mennonite Church and Meadville Mennonite Chapel.
Current Team Members
- Lavern and Lolita Hershberger, with children Hadassah, Annaliese, Caleb, Sara, and Charis
- Shannon and JoElla Lehman, with children Erin, Braden, and McKenna
- Lyndon Beiler
- Matt King
- Sharon Spicher
- Wendy Yoder
During the post WW II era, a young man named John Overholt volunteered to help with the recovery work in Eastern Europe. He left Poland with a lifelong desire to see the Anabaptist vision planted in that country.
As a result of his vision, the Salt and Light Foundation was established. The board members became acquainted with Jan Wierzyłowski. Jan flew to the United States and met with the Salt and Light Foundation board at Faith Builders Educational Programs (FBEP) during the winter of 1995-96.
Several years later, the Salt and Light Foundation terminated activity, but the board members asked Faith Builders Christian Fellowship (FBCF) to take on the Foundation’s activity in Poland. Melvin and Shelia Lehman with others made a trip to Poland in 1997. Melvin caught a vision of reclaiming the rich Mennonite heritage that had survived in parts of Poland for more than 400 years.
In 1998-99 Anthony Gingerich, Marc Wadel, Ryan Lehman, and Jake Hochstetler lived in Poland investigating mission opportunities.
After this, FBCF decided to place a team in Poland and Anabaptist International Ministries (AIM) was formed. The vision was to establish an Anabaptist church and community in the country of Poland.
On July 12, 2001, John and Laura Smucker with their four young children and Lavern and Lolita Hershberger with their two young children moved to Poland to begin this effort. Four young people—Atlee Graybill, Hannah Beth Graybill, Shannon Lehman, and Shaunda Lehman—accompanied them.
From 2001-2005, the men on the team were employed as English teachers in public schools, giving them a platform to build relationships while offering legal residence in Poland. In 2005, Heritage Foundation was formed, making it possible for AIM to employ American teachers and to develop a language school. Gateway to English was begun October 2005 as a conversational English school. This is now being used as a tool of evangelism.
On November 12, 2006, Lavern Hershberger was ordained as pastor of Agape Mennonite Fellowship.
In 2009, AIM began working with Christian Aid Ministries to publish the Seed of Truth Christian family magazine in Polish. Today, over 4000 copies of each issue are distributed throughout Poland.
This journey has been nothing short of a miraculous adventure that continues to this day. May the Lord continue to go before us!